St. Luas Oratory

St. Lua's Oratory, Killaloe, County Clare

Situated on the grounds of Killaloe Catholic Church stands St Lua’s Oratory. The Oratory dates back to the time of Brian Boru (Bryan Boru) and still stands today.

St Lua’s Oratory, also known as St. Molua’s Oratory used to be located on Friar’s Island in the Shannon but was removed from that site as the Island was flooded and submerged after the opening of the Shannon Hydroelectric Scheme in 1929.

The church was re-erected on the current site in Killaloe Town Centre in 1930.

The oldest part of the church, dating back to the 10th/11th century is the now roofless Nave which has a magnificent cyclopean doorway, it may have previously had a wooden roof.  The space around the alter in the sanctuary, which is known as the Chancel with its high pitched stone roof was probably added around the 12th century.

St Lua also known as Molua, who was an irish saint and comes from the Gaelic work meaning Mo (My). He was very popular in the area where he founded a church, he was so popular that the people called him my Lua which later became Molua. Killaloe in fact also derives its name from the same saint, Killaloe (church of Lua). St Flannan’s Cathedral in Killaloe also commemorates his nephew St Flannan.